Saturday, April 01, 2006

Stash Locally, Expand Galactically

“I thought that a stash is like the galaxy - limitless, yet still continuing to expand.”
Somerset , posted on the Knittyboard, 26 March 2006

Come in, come in! So nice to see you! Please excuse the mess; I just moved here, you know, and I haven't quite unpacked yet. But I unpacked the yarn first, of course, so let's take a tour. Mind you, the yarn is unpacked, but it's not yet organized, so there's no rhyme or reason to this tour. Really, it has more to do with what box the yarn was packed in than anything else.

That's Trendsetter's Dune up there, lovely, fuzzy, glittery stuff, for a sleeveless top for me. Not that I ever go anywhere where wearing a glittery, fuzzy top is appropriate, but I can dream, right?

Oh, and would you please take off your guilt? I don't allow guilt into the stash; it ruins the savoring of good yarn, don't you think? Here we go!

Cherry Tree Hill's Oceania. Glittery, but not too much. I tried using this for the Sunrise Circle Jacket, but the fabric wasn't quite stiff enough to do justice to that pattern. Darn, I'll just have to find some other pattern to use with this yarn!You all know WEBS, right? That storied treasurehouse of discounted yarns? It's about a 45-minute drive from me. Well, they had a warehouse sale, oh, at the end of the summer, I think it was, and among (many) other purchases, I picked up two enormous skeins of this shimmering pale blue rayon boucle. Very fine yarn (see below). I don't know what I'll do with this, but for $4 a skein, how could you expect me to pass this up?
A bowl full of Paternayan tapestry wool. I've had this a long, long time, left from my needlepoint days. Last fall I pulled these skeins out of the Paternayan stash (um, yes, there's about twice this in all) to use on the Color on Color scarf from Scarf Style, but I ran into some gauge issues and haven't returned to the fray.
One of my latest scores: 14 balls of Filatura di Crosa 501, in a blue-white tweed. Note the red sticker; that meant 40% off the already reasonable price of $5/ball, at Wicker & Wool in Gardner, MA. It's all wool, a total of 1904 yards. I have no idea what I'll do with this, but there's enough to do something substantial. I even got the store's swatch of this!

Another acquisition from the same sale: Filatura di Crosa Dolce something (unreadable - Avalon, maybe?). 100% cotton, a total of 2178 yards. The balls that appear mostly white are in reality pinkish. I have a summer v-necked cardigan in mind. Check back in 2014 to see what I've made.Two skeins of Classic Elite's Fame, a rayon/silk blend. Nice, but I haven't the foggiest idea what to do with them. Thewy've been in my stash for quite a while now.
Handmaiden's Ottawa in the Dragonfly colorway, two skeins. I thought this would work for the Sunshine Circle Jacket, but the gauge is all wrong. I don't know how I confused 18 stitches in 4 inches with 22 stitches in 4 inches, but I think it had something to do with the sale sticker on the Handmaiden. It's really lovely stuff, though, deserving of a nice close-up.

I don't want to talk about it. There's only one, however.

A few random Lopi skeins, plus two Salvation Army Icelandic sweaters, intended for frogging, if I can bear it. I have a design for a felted rug floating around in my head, and doubled Lopi, felted, gives a really nice, thick fabric. Nine skeins of Kureyon, bought at Webs' recent sale. This will become a Debbie Bliss-designed cardigan - scoop-necked, with the body knit side-to-side to create vertical stripes.
My mom's birthday was two days ago (all together now - Happy Birthday, Mom!). This is the very beginnings - see those orange squares hanging off the needles? - of a log-cabin-style afghan for her, for next Christmas, since I obviously didn't get this finished in time for her birthday. The afghan squares are going to be cut in half diagonally, either light-and-dark red, or light-and-dark blue, both with orange centers. Then I'll put together the squares so there are big red or blue diamonds spreading out from the center. That's the plan, anyway. I thought I ought to include this in the Stash Flashing, as it's mostly still just stash - various random balls and skeins gathered over the years, a sale here, a new yarn shop there. You'll see a few more like this. Ten skeins of Rowanspun 4 Ply, in the color Turkish. Cucumbermart was selling a bag like for $20, free shipping from the U.K. I think this will become Kim Hargreaves' Fleur, from Vintage Knits - a simple one-button, rounded-edge, beaded cardigan.
Handmaiden Sea Silk. Indescribable.
Three colors of slubby cotton, I think originally from Webs. Not really my cup of tea any more. This may go bye-bye sometime soon.
Random Noro Kureyon skeins, because one of these days I want to make a throw out of squares of this. The idea came from an afghan that Afghans for Afghans auctioned off on eBay to raise money. It was gorgeous!
Pop Art!
Three skeins of lovely Penfrydd wool, from Colrain, Massachusetts. I'm not sure Penfrydd is still in existence, but this yarn is good stuff, so I hope they are still out there somewhere.
Filatura di Crosa 501, wool, four balls of olive green and five of dark fuchsia, bought on sale recently. These colors work together even better in reality than in this photo, and I have grandiose dreams of making something sophisticated out of them, maybe with a little cable or two.
One lonely skein of Green Mountain Spinnery's Zephyr Mohair. Maybe I'll dye this, assuming that's possible, and make myself a little scarf. Someday.
Remmber what I said about checking your guilt at the door? Well, this is where all my guilt lives. This is Liam's baby blanket. Liam is three and a half. The blanket is half done. Need I say more?
Classic Elite Waterspun, in gray and light teal. The Yarn Harlot came to speak last year at the great Sheep Shack in Holden, MA. Once she finished, of course everyone lined up to get her to sign her books. Me, I headed to the sale corner and scored this. Then I got Steph to sign my book. First things first, you know.
Assorted Trekking XXL sock yarn. I tried to learn the two-socks-on-two-circs method with the balls at the bottom, but gave up in frustration.
Gorgeous, isn't it? This is hand-dyed mohair (kid mohair maybe?) from Watercolor Wool in Alna, Maine. I bought this when I lived near Damariscotta, Maine, and Pine Tree Yarns was my LYS. Yes, that Pine Tree Yarns - the shop of Elaine Ekesen, author of Dyeing to Knit. Hooray for my old friend Elaine! Here's a little bit of plain wool, dyed by Elaine. In my random yarns photos, you may catch glimpses of other yarns dyed by Elaine.
Ten balls of Spotlight Cotton, total of 920 yards - a summer top, maybe?
Thirteen balls of Elann's Sierra Aran in red. I haven't the foggiest idea why I have this.
Four balls of Elann's Sierra Aran in green. I wanted to make a cabled-turtle scarf for Julie for last Christmas, but ran out of time.
Mosaic, from S. Charles. Wool/acrylic/polyamid. For gloves for me, to match the coat that will no doubt be worn out by then.
I used to live up on the coast of Maine, for a couple of years. There is a great yarn store in Camden, the name of which escapes me now, but I bought these 13 balls of purple, tweedy Missoni there in August of 1991, on sale. Another decade or two of ripening, and I figure this will be great knit up. Can't hurry good yarn, you know.
Once upon a time, long, long ago in another lifetime of mine, I went to Florence, Italy, with my then-boyfriend and several other friends. I'd never been to Europe before, much less Florence, and I just loved it. Someday I'll go again - want to have a knitters' retreat there sometime? Anyhow, we went to a yarn shop, one of my friends translated for me, and I bought this assortment of mostly Missoni yarns. Someday, I'll knit up a pullover for myself from this.
The label I can sew into the sweater I knit from the Florentine Missoni yarn.
Casablanca ribbon yarn and Plymouth Orient Express nylon/mohair blend, enough for a Magic Grid pullover, pattern from Knitters magazine, sometimetime in the past decade.
Six assorted colors of Lamb's Pride Worsted, partial skeins left from knitting a Kaffe Fassett coat. This might become a felted bag some day, or not.
Three cones of Harrisville Highland wool. Yep, there they are, all right.
Sometimes I wonder what gets into me. This is a two-pound cone of ecru cotton. You may see this on the Knittyboard swap thread sometime soon. Start planning those Christmas washcloths!
Purple Colorado yarns, wool/acrylic, bulky. I can't resist purple, especially inexpensive purple.
Stash of another sort, many given to me by my mom, from her stash and my grandma's and my mother's friends' stashes. This is history and legacy, people, worthy of respect. (No, they didn't give me their yarn. They are sane people; sane people may give away their tools, but not life itself.)Mrs. Haviland, my mom's neighbor, even donated her needle case, the one that was so good and cost so much (in the early 50's, I think) that she couldn't bring herself to tie the ribbons, for fear of mussing them. I, of course, being of the disrespectful younger generation, tied them immediately.
Cashmere. Laceweight. In the Everglades color. Three cones, totaling 450 grams. Someday I shall be worthy of knitting this heavenly yarn. Get your own at Colourmart.
You know how when you find something you like so much, you can hardly breathe and you just want to pay for it and get in your car and perform unnatural acts with it before someone says you're not worthy of such bliss?

Really? You've done that? Why, I never!

OK, I admit that this yarn does it for me. Three cones from Webs of beautiful thin wool in scrumptious blue-violet. I was so nervous buying it, on one of my first trips into Webs' warehouse, that I never asked exactly what it is or how many yards per pound or anything useful like that. I do know I have enough for anything I can possibly imagine.
Four balls of Reynolds Saucy, for a summer top.
Great texture here. In the upper right, you see the original yarn - a blue wool boucle from who knows when, who knows where. The rest of the photo - one-fourth of a dolman-sleeve jacket. By the time I finish, dolman sleeves will be back in style again. I hope.
Darn! The price tag didn't show up in the photo! It says 10 skeins (of Debbie Bliss Wool/Cotton) for $28.00. How could I pass that up? And from my LYS, too!
Berroco's Foliage, with a cone of black Harrisville Highland Tweed in the middle. I'm planning on making a Barbara Breiter Bolero jacket out of this. Supposedly.
Madil's Eden Print, 100% bamboo, with the beginnings of a Clapotis. I'm not sure this will work well for a Clap, but if not, I'll make myself a little summer top.
Red and blue Baci, from S. Charles. Incredibly soft merino with something artificial, I don't remember what. I knit myself a Sally Melville Einstein Coat out of the red while I was laid up with my broken leg, and it came out beautifully (except the yarn is too soft for seaming, so I need to redo the shoulder seams). I cannot tell you how comforting it was to have yarn this nice going through my hands while every other part of my body hurt. So when Webs marked it down even more, I bought 20 balls of the red and 10 of the blue. One can never have too much beauty in one's life.
Phoenix Soy Silk, for a yoga mat bag for my yogini friend Jen.
Valley Yarns Rainbow and Lamb's Pride Superwash, for a Sally Melville Simple Cardigan, for me.
I like red, have you noticed that? This is Rowan 4 Ply Soft. I was having a bad day, I don't even remember why, so I stopped into my LYS to cheer myself up. I bought the book Knitter's Stash and this yarn to make the Heavenly Camisole therein. The day suddenly felt much better.
I don't spin. Nonethless, here's some merino roving I bought this past Christmas, when my mom took me to Arasapha Farm outside Philadelphia somewhere. I couldn't resist this - don't you just want to lose yourself in the lusciousness of that pink?

Back to red; did I mention I like red? I have two big cones of this 70% cotton/30% linen red yarn, bought cheaply at a Webs sale. It's pretty thin stuff, so I think I'll have to use two or three strands together. Maybe a Christmas tablecloth?
While we're on the subject of red: I have five plastic storage boxes, with various yarns sorted by color, usually only a ball or skein of each. I used to be enthralled by Kaffe Fassett-style knitting, since I came to knitting from quilting, and I found I could just collect a ball here, a skein there, all on sale, of course, and have enough for a sweater or coat in no time flat. I still have enough random yarn for MANY Fassett-style projects, as you can see below.

I'm not really one much for yellows; you can see the bottom of the box here.

Phildar Maharadjah, wool/acrylic/viscose. These are only three of the 16 balls of this in my collection; I have five different colorways.
Four balls of Patons Kroy sock yarn. I didn't buy this for socks, but one of these days I might make this into multi-colored socks of some sort or another. Actually, what I've been thinking is making a series of socks, each one (not pair, mind you, but each one) different but related to the others. For example, Sock #1 might have pink ribbing, pink heel and toe, with green and purple stripes for the body. Sock #2 would have a green heel and toe, purple ribbing, and pink/purple striping on the body. Sock #3 would introduce the blue color. And so on. That would get rid of the second-sock syndrome, and if one sock wears out, you don't have to trash a whole pair. It can be a new trend in sock-making!
A lovely unidentified cone. There's a note somewhere with more info, I think.
Navy blue Gjestal Naturgarn No. 1, from Elann. I had planned on adapting Elann's hooded vest pattern for Earle, but alas, this yarn didn't work into the right kind of fabric when it made the right gauge - too limp and holey, not really sweatshirt sort of fabric at all.A tweed-stitch afghan I started about 8 or 9 months ago, in the hopes of using up some of my stash. This is the central panel of six or seven. Below is the yarn destined for the afghan - looks a lot like my random purple skeins above, doesn't it?

I hit a very bad pothole a couple months ago, on a rainy night, merging onto a major interstate at rush hour. Blew out the side wall of my tire and bent the steel rim. The next day, I went to the next town over - Gardner, MA - to get everything fixed. Afterwards, I said to myself, "There is a yarn shop in this town you have never seen. You just had a bad 24 hours. " So, I took myself to Wicker & Wool, and lo! Wool in the Woods Cruz, rayon in the colorway Bashful. I felt much better about life.
Finally, a fuzzy pic, but good yarn - a wool/silk blend, 2.14 pounds of it from Webs. This is the kind of color I lose myself in.

Well, look, we're all done with the tour. There's a few more yarns (a little Jaeger Trinity, some Rowan Felted Tweed, a few random balls), but they just refused to have their photo taken - something about a bad hair day. And you look pretty done in yourself, how's about a cuppa tea and a little knitting? I do have just a few things to finish up myself.


bryghtrose said...

Very impressive. Can my stash come and play with your stash one day?

Joanna said...

Great photos!! I bow down to your superior stashing-and-sale-finding abilities... :)

bradyphrenia said...

Wow. just. wow.

cpurl17 said...

Girl, I like the way you shop!
The commentary is great--it's like going on a yarn adventure!

Zonda said...

Nice yarns there! You sure get good bargins, and I love red too, although you wouldn't know it ;)
I used to live in Maine too, but didn't knit then.

Nice job! :)

thomasina said...

Thank you for the tour. Gorgeous, just gorgeous.

Anna said...

I have the rowanspun 4ply in turkish in my stash too!

JessaLu said...


Jen said...

Gorgeous stash! And it's true, Wool in the Woods makes the world a better place (I have some of the Bashful colorway in Seeds-n-Such, a rayon/cotton).


Ginger said...

You live near the WEBS warehouse? oh my, that would be my downfall.

Wendy DG said...

You have royal stash. Some of those skeins are a work of art. Beautiful!

Susan said...

Whooo! Someone with a Stash like mine!!!

BJ said...

Yummy......Beautiful photos.

trek said...

Whew - I finally reached the end! Wow.

See my stash flash here

monkeemaven said...


That's all I can say.

I love your stash.

HPNY Knits said...

wow!! and some very very delicious treats!
I think I'll have yarn hangeover tomorrow...

Elaine said...

I am very impressed with your stash. You don't know me but have probably heard of me from your friend Susan B.

I was googling Color On Color Scarf and your website came up and as I read through it, something kept niggling at me. I know this person, she's mentioning Webs, hmmm Linnet, where have I heard that? Etc.... Then it dawned on me. I'm Sue's sister-in-law, married to Christopher - her brother.

I intend to make the Color on Color scarf! Well, just thought I would say hello.

Elaine Benoit